Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts I've Thunk :)

So.......who wants chicken today? Anybody want to buy some chicken?
This lady was pretty busy today as she sold fresh cut chicken out in front of her home. My pembantu buys my chicken and I have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy about it! LOL!
This man pulls this cart around all day collecting trash to take to the dump, not easy labor. He is also stopping to buy some of the chicken.

Unused "dokars", horse carts and stalls in her yard, evidence of a hard, poverty stricken life.

Her mother waits just inside the door. I see faces without hope or joy everyday. Please lift up that they hear and respond to the Truth so that someday they can experience joy and peace, not as the world gives, but like that which will never end and can never be taken away!

As we near the end of our time here in this city, I am filled with all kinds of emotions. Thrilled to be finishing language school, sad over leaving my helpers whom I love, nervousness over learning a new city and people again, wondering the best way to homeschool and cook over here. We will miss our ch*rch, our neighbors, our Pelatihs, all people we have grown to love and are a part of our daily lives. This is a short list, trust me. I also feel a little overwhelmed with buying all of my furniture and appliances then finding a reputable and affordable means of shipping them to the other island....let's call this new island/new city, "Folgers" for now! :)

I wonder what it will be like without the support of the International Community from the kids school, and how the kids will handle the move and are no longer surrounded with English speaking friends. I know that we will eventually adjust, but I think there will definitely be a period of adjustment for all of us. In many ways this city has been a "half way house" for us. Still moved to "Macchiato" and experienced mind numbing changes, but also surrounded by many like-minded people too. Which will not be the case in Folgers.

On the other hand I am excited about moving to Folgers and beginning our assignment, meeting up with our team members, and setting up our home and having a somewhat more stable set up. Just lots to ponder.

Please lift up that we find great deals on our furniture and appliances, that shipping them would go smoothly and that we can avoid having our things being hassled by gangs wanting payments for "protection" and things of that nature. Nothing really seems to be simple over here and one task always seems to create another. Hopefully we can take everything in stride and not get stressed by it.

Thinking about furniture, it is amazing how I can be in the midst of such poverty and still sometimes feel as though certain things are my right to have. Isn't that crazy? I don't know how to explain it. I want a certain type of furniture or appliance yet two houses down the lady is cooking over a brick and stone fire and sleeping on a poor excuse for a mattress on her floor! Often I want as many foreign items as I can locate over here, but try to balance that with the fact that buying a pan like that costs more than my helper makes in a week. Try to take that is a life of paradox! It makes my head hurt and I truly hope it always make my heart hurt. I think the day it ceases to do that I have a problem!

Try to take in the facts of this scenario I found myself in: I set a box of "Frosties" (frosted flakes) in the trash because it was full......and I mean full, people...of ants, only to have my cook ask if I cared if she took it home to her grandchild who lives with her! Just imagine the process that you go through to understand what she is saying in your new language and then coming to the realization of what she is asking and then watch yourself stammer for a response. So you quickly respond, "Yes" because you know she really wants it or she wouldn't have asked, all the while knowing that both you and her know that you threw it away because you refuse to feed it to your own children. Just one of many instances that I find myself in on an almost daily basis. Lots to ponder.

I know I pretty much rambled here but I have lots on my mind and I just let it tumble out as it may. I am saving the stuff that makes sense for my papers in school! :) Know that we love you and are so thankful that we have you all lifting us up during the upcoming days of transition! So glad that the CEO understands me and is patient with all my shortcomings. He is faithful to complete what he has started in me!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fun Farm Field Trip (not the Funny Farm!) :)

Here is a slideshow of the Second Grade class field trip to the farm. I misunderstood and thought we were going to a rice field farm with water buffalo, instead this was a "learning farm" with all kinds of small crops and animals for school groups. They actually had Holstein cattle which I had not seen here before! The kids had a great time and fortunately the rain held off until the end but then it dumped buckets on us, which of course the kids loved! You always run that risk when you plan outings during rainy season, there is no real pattern to the rain so it can be difficult to know the best time to do something, so they usually just adjust to whatever happens and don't sweat it! Haddon's class is going in a couple of weeks so hopefully I can go with them also. However I do feel the need to increase my pr@yer life for Campbell's teacher......she has her hands full! :)

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Living Life

Lord, help us!! :)

We went to a restaurant and the lights went out so they brought us these little candles. The funny thing was that the lights would come back on and they would immediately come back and take the candles away only to have the lights go off again and then they would rush them back out onto our table. This happened several times.....hysterical!! Just leave them on the table!!

Since most of the cooking is done by gas, they still cook during the many...many black outs!

The only thing we couldn't get is our special fruit drinks because they use a blender.

Our food finally arrived fresh and tasty as ever, they are obviously use to dealing with the electrical issues.

Exercise uniforms! Classes walk or run through our neighborhood! They are so cute and very friendly!
Hudson trying dried squid from a Korean friends lunch. What? The kid who won't eat mac 'n cheese is eating squid? Okay, so he spit it out, but he gets an "A" for trying! :)

Campbell before a class play on "Alexander Goes Down Under".

The kids walking through a receiving line at one of my favorite Pelatihs wedding! They are the couple in the middle.

Marshall greeting family members at the wedding.....looking too grown up!

More little exercisers! I feel sorry for them having to wear all that in this heat!

This was taken at the wedding of our Pembantu's son. We took the gingerbread boy from my niece Abby's class in Oklahoma. They were probably thinking, "You crazy Americans!"

Our Pembantu (cook) is helping Campbell and Hudson decide on a snack. They have really tried to eat all of the new foods that they are served, sometimes better than I do!

Some of our little visitors! You don't have to speak each others language to play Barbie!! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

And so the things on the stick are........

Hard-boiled dove eggs!!! Five on each skewer.
And since I am a child of the 80's all I can think of is that song by The artist formally known as Prince (?!?), "When Doves Cry". I know, it's ridiculous and totally random but that was my first thought when I found out what they were. Poor little doves! :)
Okay now you guys were pretty funny with your suggestions. I think some of you guys have read one too many "m" books and have wild imaginations!! I find it interesting that they are an olive/charcoal gray color and not white like a chicken egg. But the yolk is still yellow. We had people guessing everything from "calf fries" or "mountain oysters" to olives and even excrement!! Yikes!! I have not had the dove eggs but Barry and a couple of the kids say they taste just like regular eggs, but Campbell thinks they taste gritty....ewwww!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chicken and Rice Soup with a Soda on the Side

The narrow road to Soto Kesambi (soe-toe kuh-sahm-bee), of course it is like most roads here. I am still shocked more cars don't scrape each other, somehow everyone manges to do fine!

Items that you can request, fried chicken, Tempe, and that steak looking stuff is the cooked congealed blood that I posted about earlier.

When you are finished you walk back to the kitchen and she adds everything up by chalk on her work table.

Close up of their sign

The restaurant, it is nice and clean.

They bring the food out and you only pay for what you eat. The plate in front is Tempe (soy bean type of fried cake) and garlic potato patties.

This is "soto" a yummy chicken and rice soup with bean sprouts, fried onions and usually some little crispy chips. This is often eaten for breakfast over here.

You will have to guess what this is.......and I will post the answer tomorrow!! Care to take a guess? Leave a comment and whoever is correct gets the good feeling of knowing they were right! :) (For those of you in Macchiato....don't give the answer away!!)

Barry and I went for breakfast after we took the kids to school on our last holiday off. Awwwww!

Hope you enjoyed this little tour, just another taste of our life on this side of the world! Lots of new foods, places and adventures to be had! Don't forget to make your guess about what is on the sticks!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Candid Camera.....

Every time we drive past this I say, "Power to the people!", while Barry rolls his eyes! I'm sure it means something but just seems so random in front of that little store!

Everyone who has been to PKU says this food is their favorite, and it was our favorite too! We brought some back for the kids and a miracle took place....all four liked it!! :) It is highly seasoned, kind of tastes like a beef jerky.

My camera doesn't take great photos in gyms or auditoriums but here is Campbell on International Day, doing their presentation on Morocco.

Haddon's class presented on Jamaica and they all wore hats with braids glue on! Hysterical!

Around here there is always room for one more!!

Marshall after one of his basketball games, he played for the JV team and had a blast!

Eating out at one of our favorite restaurants "Steak YeGe"!

Over Christmas break they moved the coffee shop near the entrance to the Intn'l School and were open 6 days a week.....until their new help stole and sold their recipes!!! It was awful!!

Yes Virginia, this is a two lane road!! Lines in the roads are mere suggestions! :)

Over Christmas we went to a larger town 3 hours away and they had a huge Barbie display,the girls loved it!!

Walking through the streets at the market, while motorcycles drive through it too!
Making a living by selling fruit out of his cart all day!

I love this!! They sell multi-colored chicks here all year 'round!! It is so funny to see them walking down the streets when our neighbors buy them!!

More to come!!!